Otto Skutsch
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Otto Skutsch

Otto Skutsch (6 December 1906 - 8 December 1990) was a German-born British classicist and academic, specialising in classical philosophy. He was Professor of Latin at University College London from 1951 to 1972.[1]

Early life

Skutsch was born on 6 December 1906 in Breslau, then in the German Empire.[2] He was the third child of Franz Skutsch, a German classical philologist.[3] He was six years old when his father died.[4] He was educated at the Friedrichs-Gymnasium in Breslau.[5] He then studied at the University of Breslau, the University of Kiel, the University of Berlin, and the University of Göttingen.[3] He completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at Göttingen in 1934.[5] Because his father was Jewish, Skutsch saw the rise of the Nazi Party as a threat to himself, and so he left Germany for the United Kingdom sometime in 1934 or 1935.[2][5]

Academic career

Having arrived in the United Kingdom, Skutsch secured a post at the University of St Andrews as a research assistant working on the compilation a dictionary of Latin.[3] This was achieved through W. M. Lindsay, a professor at St Andrews who had had great respect Skutsch's father.[2] From 1938 to 1939, he was a senior assistant at Queen's University Belfast.[3] With the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, he was interned for the extent of the war as an enemy alien.[5] He was granted British citizenship in 1946.[3]

In 1949, he joined the University of Manchester as a senior lecturer in classics.[5] In 1951, he was appointed Professor of Latin at University College London.[2] In 1972, he retired and was appointed professor emeritus.[5] From 1972 to 1973 and again in 1981, he was Visiting Andrew Mellon Professor of Classics at the University of Pittsburgh.[2]

Personal life

In 1938, Skutsch married Gillian Stewart. She was the daughter of Sir Findlater Stewart, a senior civil servant.[5] Together, they had four children; one son and three daughters.[2]


  1. ^ Goold, George P. (1990). "OTTO SKUTSCH: 6 December 1906, Breslau 9 December 1990, London". Vergilius. The Vergilian Society. 36: 4-6. JSTOR 41592510.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Willcock, M. M. (13 December 1990). "Professor Otto Skutsch". The Independent (1301). p. 32.
  3. ^ a b c d e Jocelyn, H. D. (1991). "Otto Skutsch". Gnomon. Verlag C. H. Beck. 63 (8): 746-749. JSTOR 27690928.
  4. ^ Huxley, Herbert H. (2002). "Two Latin elegiac poems by Otto Skutsch (1906-1990)". Hermathena. Trinity College Dublin. 172: 23-24. JSTOR 23041281.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Professor Otto Skutsch". The Times (63893). 19 December 1990. p. 14.

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